May 28, 2009

Amazing Person #2

One of my dearest friends gave me a slap on the wrist this week for being a bad blogger. She is so right. I have neglected the blogosphere, so I thought it apropos to dedicate this post to her! Now, she needs a nickname. Let's call her.......Shiksa! That is a fitting name, and I think it will give her a much needed giggle.

So my girl, Shiksa. Where to begin?! We are kindred spirits. We met through her now husband, Dr. Bop (I'm on a roll!) and my ex, Mr. Microphone (somebody stop me!). Bop and Mic have been friends since childhood, and when introduced, I felt like I had known Shiksa about that long too. We were instant besties (a word I learned from her). The beginning of our friendship was mostly long distance - me in Atlanta with her in Chicago THEN me in Chicago with her in New Jersey. But really it wasn't until she moved back to Chicago, (at last, putting us in the same city) that our friendship grew some roots...and just in the nick of time.

Chicago was an AMAZING life experience for me, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I learned more about myself in those 3 years than I ever had before. But as we all know, life lessons can bring some seemingly insurmountable challenges and heartache. THANK GOD FOR SHIKSA! She was my lifeline in so many ways - particularly in a time when the newness of my new city had worn off; I was severely homesick; Mr. Microphone had left town for an internship; and I was in a job that I hated. The perfect storm.

ENTER Shiksa with a big ass umbrella.
She was there for me in every possible way, and to make it all that much sweeter, we had an unbelievable number of things in common from politics to particular obsessive tendencies. Many a hardy chuckle have been had over unintentional "coincidences" that have made us wonder if we had that twin-like psychic connection between us. More than once, we have both arrived at our designated meeting point at the exact same time without breaking our stride. That even happened when I last visited in December. One of our favorite things to do was to get take-out ribs (zesty) from Twin Anchors and go to my place to watch Grey's Anatomy.

Shiksa was always at her best, though, when I was at my absolute worst. Eventually my relationship with Mr. Microphone came to it's inevitable end, and even with the obvious loyalty conflicts, she never left my side. Mr. Microphone is a compassionate guy, and he knew how close Shiksa and I were (are). After our break-up he told her to take care of me. Now, that's kind of a normal thing to do with mutual friends in such a situation, but I've never met anyone who took that assignment more seriously than she did. In fact, I think Mr. Microphone eventually came to regret making that request of her, as she became my consummate protector even if it meant putting him in his place. There were days when I wasn't sure I could even get out of bed. No worries. Shiksa was there with a Dr. Pepper and a frosted cookie to save my day. Through anxiety attacks, car accidents, break-ups, and muggings via knife-point, she (and many times Dr. Bop too) came to my rescue.

Now we are back to where we started - me in Atlanta and her in Chicago. When my last days in Chicago were winding down, that was the good-bye that I was most dreading. It didn't matter that I'd see her again in two months at her wedding, or that I knew we would keep in touch. Shiksa had become one of those fixtures in my life such that, saying good-bye to her was like leaving a piece of me behind. Actually I'm ok with that though, because I know that piece couldn't possibly be in better hands.

I love you so much, Shiksa, and I miss you everyday. I hope I have been, and can be, half as good a friend to you as you have been to me.

May 1, 2009


BG turns the big 6-2 today. Happy Birthday, Dad!

Anyone who meets my dad immediately falls in love with him. He is one special person. He grew up in the same town where he still lives today. He and my 2 uncles were raised on a farm by two of the most humble and warm-hearted people on the planet. Nothing is more important to BG than family and God with Auburn football - well, Auburn in general - coming in as a close 3rd.

BG is the quintessential Southern Gentleman. He's a jolly, fun-loving guy who is so conservative he makes Rush Limbaugh look like a hippy. He has been known to call me his 'liberal daughter' which, to anyone who knows me, would seem hilariously inaccurate. Compared to him though, it is absolutely true. In the little corner of the world where I grew up, BG is one of the most respected and loved members of the community, and with good reason. Stranger or old friend, he loves nothing more than to make someone laugh. As long as you don't say 'Roll Tide', after 5-minutes of knowing you, he will consider you a friend. Not long after that, he will dazzle you with his steak-grilling skills and/or his precision on his high-powered complex lawn maintenance system. To call this piece of machinery a lawn mower, would be a gross understatement. It has a steering system that is so complicated, the average person would find themselves spinning in circles on the first attempt at operation. I am convinced it could reach speeds of at least 50 miles per hour though I've only seen him go up to about 30. Sheer genius at work, I tell you. But I digress...

My dad, has travelled the world and has stood in some of the most historic and amazing places in existence, yet his favorite place is simply anywhere his family happens to be - especially if that place happens to be Auburn, Alabama. From the womb, BG has instilled a love of the orange and blue in me and my brothers that runs so deep there was never any question about where we would seek higher learning. My dad spent his life around boys. He has 2 brothers and 2 sons. My mother once told me how I (the only girl for a while) have always been such a mystery to him. True, there is a lot about me that I'm sure has been hard for him to understand, but one thing we could always connect with was Auburn. No matter what - silly little girl, angst-ridden teenager, college co-ed, young professional - we always had Auburn. For my 12th birthday my dad and I went to the Auburn/Georgia Tech game in Atlanta - a real treat for me as I had him all to myself while usually my football knowledge was overshadowed by my all-knowing brothers. I remember a lot about that day, but most of all I just remember how great it was to hang out with my dad. We saw a pretty spectacular game too.

Five years ago today, my dad dropped me off in Chicago and made the long drive back to Alabama. While I was excited and nervous about starting that new chapter in my life, I was heartbroken and terrified to know, for the first time, there would be that many miles between us. I'm sure leaving his baby girl in a big strange city wasn't a great way to spend his birthday either, but he knew it was something I needed to do. Two years ago, as I was unpacking my boxes in Atlanta once again, I sent him a birthday card and promised that I would never move that far from home again.

BG has always been my hero. He has saved me figuratively and literally more times than I can count. I have never made a major decision without his input. His guidance is a lifeline for me. I don't say it nearly enough, but I love him more than he could possibly ever know. I've recently had some moments that have made me realize just how lucky I am to have such an incredible and loving dad. I know how much he loves me. I know he is proud of me. I know I can always count on him when (not if) I need rescuing. I just hope he knows that I feel the same way about him.

Happy Birthday, Dad! I love you so much.

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